DHAKA: In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.
More than 200 Twitter users and dozens of other forums on the internet offer services for Saudi men and women seeking spouses, angering matchmakers like Um Sami who sees it as ‘organised prostitution’.
‘Social networks undermine our work and everything they offer is virtual: they use nicknames and they are not reliable,’ said Um Sami, an elderly woman and well-established matchmaker from the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
For her, many of these websites are ‘fraudulent’ and some are even an organised form of prostitution.
‘Marriage via online platforms is one hundred per cent doomed to failure,’ she said, stressing that only her traditional matchmaking method can lead to a successful marriage.
For matchmakers like Um Sami the business has flourished by word of mouth.
Families ready to marry off their offsprings contact her with details about their children and provide pictures which she carries around with her on rounds to match candidates, reports gulfnews.com.
BDST: 1449 HRS, FEB 16, 2013
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor- email@example.com
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